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Going the Distanceā€¦for Local Kids

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Emily Orbanek

The doldrums of the professional sports calendar year are finally behind us: that brief two-month period after the Super Bowl and before baseball season begins, when we only have the choice between basketball and hockey, both of which are smack in the middle of their seemingly interminable seasons. Springtime ushers in the seventh-inning stretch, hopefully exciting playoffs for basketball and hockey, plus the NFL draft and anticipation of the coming football season. What better way for a sports fan and nonprofit worker to amp up for the most anticipated Denver Broncos season in recent memory than with a brief jog around Sports Authority Field at Mile High—all with a purpose to do good?

On May 20, I had the pleasure of running the final leg of the Colfax Marathon in Denver to support Urban Peak Colorado Springs, whose mission is to help homeless youth and youth at risk of becoming homeless overcome real life challenges by providing essential services and a supportive community, empowering them to become self-sufficient adults.  As a new addition to the board of directors of Urban Peak, I jumped at the opportunity to help out with fundraising and running a portion of the 26.2 miles down Colfax.

I signed up for the fifth and final leg because it was one of the longest at 6.4 miles and, more importantly, it meant that I didn’t have to start running at 6 am. I showed up at my designated starting spot outside of the stadium and waited for my baton handoff. The team had allotted an hour for every leg, which was a gross underestimation of our abilities. The baton was in my hand a little before 9:30 a.m. and I was off down a slight hill, around a corner and directed into the tunnel of Mile-High Stadium and out onto the field! My brief jaunt around the gridiron fueled me over the next six miles, especially up Capitol Hill and into City Park where I crossed the finish line for our team, having helped raise over $2,200 for local kids in the process.

The Colfax Marathon Relay was a unique way to support an organization that does so much good for youth in my community and a great way to get excited for the first snap of the season.